Someone flipped the weather switch from winter to summer. After a quick afternoon walk in the park with Tisen yesterday when I discovered it was suddenly August, I decided it was high time I get my bike out of storage and take it for a spin.
It seemed like a fantastic idea last night. I got it all ready to go, putting air in the tires, checking the brakes, digging up my biking shoes and helmet. I even found appropriate attire and laid it out so I wouldn’t have to hunt around for what to wear.
When the alarm jerked me awake mid-dream at 5:15AM, it seemed like less of a good idea.
But, once jerked awake, it’s hard to go back to sleep. I stumbled into the kitchen and made some coffee.
I eventually made it out the door, still ahead of sunrise. When I told Tisen goodbye, he momentarily raised his head a fraction of an inch and blinked. Then he fell back into a state of involving loud snoring. I was jealous.
Once on my bike, I realized I had never headed to the Riverwalk from our new location before. I wasn’t exactly sure how to make it to the Walnut Street Bridge without having to navigate any stairs. I didn’t quite make it there stepless–I had to carry my bike up one flight of steps–but I did make it without riding on any streets, which was a nice way to start out the morning.
I took my time riding in the dark, breathing in the smells of spring, and watching the light gradually increase in the sky ahead of me. I saw Osprey and Great Blue Herons. Ring-billed Gulls and Tree Swallows. Dozens of Warblers teased me by flying ahead of me and remaining just visible enough to be recognized as Warblers, but not long enough for their particular species to be identified (even when I got off my bike and pulled my binoculars out of my saddle bags).
When I made it to the last mile before the dam, as I entered the sculpture garden, I saw the strange exhibit I call “Abduction” glowing in the dim morning light as a cloud of mist rose off the grass and the sky turned pink in the distance. I thought it was an excellent time to make use of my iPhone camera.
When I made it to the end of the Riverwalk at the Chickamauga Dam, I coasted down to the fishing pier. I decided it was another photo op, although maybe not the kind I usually think of. The large manmade structures used to generate the electricity that powers Chattanooga (and probably a lot of other places) may not be my normal idea of a subject I want to immortalize, but this morning I just felt grateful for the electricity instead of annoyed by the environmental impacts of the dam. And for once, I found myself smiling with appreciation.